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Cost-effectiveness analysis of pandemic influenza preparedness: what's missing?

World Health Organization


Drake, TL; Chalabi, Z; Coker, R (2012) Cost-effectiveness analysis of pandemic influenza preparedness: what’s missing? Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 90 (12). pp. 940-1. ISSN 0042-9686 Downloaded from: Usage Guidelines Please refer to usage guidelines at or alterna- tively contact [email protected] Available under license: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 940 Bull World Health Organ 2012;90:940–941 | doi:10.2471/BLT.12.109025 Introduction Highly pathogenic pandemic influenza viruses pose a real if poorly defined risk to public health and economies. In a study of potential mortality, Murray et al. estimated that 62 million excess deaths would have occurred globally had there been a pandemic event in 2004 with an excess mortality proportional to that observed in the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic.1 The United Na- tions System Influenza Coordination has outlined the impact of pandemic influenza not just on mortality, but also on health-care systems, animal health, agriculture, education, transport, tour- ism and the financial sector.2 In short, a pandemic event threatens all aspects of the economic and social fabric. In 2003, a highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza A (H5N1) virus re- emerged and continues to circulate. The risk of viral mutation facilitating trans- mission from human to human and the resulting likelihood of a pandemic event have been the subject of much concern, debate and research. In this context, the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic catalysed action by public health decision-makers and international donors. Many countries have drawn up pandemic preparedness plans, invested in stockpiles of antivirals and equipped border points with thermal imaging technology. In 2010, the United Nations System Influenza Coordination reported that between 2003

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